RIM BlackBerry 7520
Nextel customers and BlackBerry users are two staunchly dedicated groups of people, which is why it came as no shock to us that the RIM BlackBerry 7510, offered by Nextel, met with a good amount of enthusiasm. Finally, Nextel users who loved the company’s business-oriented Direct Connect walkie-talkie service could join the BlackBerry craze. Of course, like early prototypes, the 7510 had some limitations–namely, a paltry 16MB of memory and no Bluetooth. Fortunately, the RIM BlackBerry 7520 answers these criticisms with 32MB of memory and Bluetooth capabilities for wireless headsets, earpieces, and car kits.
Upside: Hard-core road warriors will appreciate the addition of Bluetooth, which will free them from either having to use the handset like a standard cell phone (which BlackBerry phones don’t do well in the first place) or a wired earpiece. An all-in-one device, the 7520 offers users Web-browsing capabilities; remote e-mail access; and wireless PIM-data synchronization of calendar, contacts, and tasks. And like its predecessor, the 7520 has a speakerphone, access to Nextel’s Direct Connect service, a full QWERTY keyboard, a large, 65,000-color display, a thumb-operated trackwheel, and support for Java and real-time e-mail with attachments.
Downside: The 7520 lacks a memory-expansion slot and operates on Nextel’s 800MHz network, which won’t work in many countries beyond North America. Also, it lacks an infrared port.
Outlook: The 7520 should please business-oriented users, who already make up a huge part of Nextel’s customer roster. At around $200 with a service agreement, it’s a fairly priced smart phone that, thanks to the addition of Bluetooth, should give the Treo 650 user something to think about.